Last night was yet another stressful and intense night that I will remember for a long time. I woke up with a raging case of diarrhea. (I am not trying to be to graphic, I just am trying to share my true, real and raw experience.) So I ran out in the middle of a ground trembling thunder and lightning explosion to the bathroom cabana. I had gotten yet another horrible allergic reaction to my malaria pills. After the allergic rash I had come down with on my first day of travel, I had switched to another type of anti-malarial medication the day before (Natalia had brought it to me from the States). So at 3 am on our little island home during a middle of the gnarliest thunderstorm in my life, I was reacting to these new drugs. Natalia gave me a pill to deal with my symptoms, which saved me, and I attempted to go to sleep. I finally succeeded just when the sun started rising.
Even though I was running on barely any sleep and feeling a little off, I did a lot today. In the morning Natalia and I and our trusty Pablo voyaged to another island called Oshtupu, in a forty-five minute canoe ride, for a day adventure. Oshtupu is a more developed and more highly populated island then Mamitupu. It was like going from a little country town to the middle of New York City, except Kuna version. This island has panaderias (bread stores), offices, a post office, a bar, and a clothing store. It is very different from our little island. We wandered around the mud-packed streets observing life here. Then we went on a quest to find a group of traditional Kuna dancers or musical group that we could film or record. We felt it would be a cool thing to record and share with the world on websites and in different venues how amazing the Kuna people really are. The Kuna people have a rich culture full of art of all kinds, as well as a luscious and exotic language. I love the sound of their language. Most of the people don’t speak Spanish, only Kuna, so it is even harder to communicate and find things out. We wandered around the streets for a while aimlessly, as there are no street names or building addresses, until we found the man we were searching for, and we scheduled this dance fiesta to take place this Sunday. I am so excited to see the Kuna people’s traditional art in action, and to have the opportunity to film it.
We left the island and returned to our heavenly beach and lush cabanas. We spent the rest of the day exploring the island, walking through the town, seeing the school, the medical clinic and the coconut oil store, in general just visiting the people and getting to know what life is like here. Then we fell asleep reading in hammocks and dozed off under the coconut tree as the lap of the ocean lulled us to sleep. It was divine!